Kia Carens debuts as a weird-looking 7-seat Seltos
In India, the new Kia Carens made its worldwide debut today. The Carens is the Korean automaker’s fourth product, with a market introduction planned for early next year. While Kia does not refer to the Carens as an SUV or MPV, it is effectively a three-row vehicle with SUV and MPV characteristics.
Kia Carens exterior
The Kia Carens has a wheelbase of 2780mm and measures 4540mm in length, 1800mm in width, and 1700mm in height (the longest in the segment). The Alcazar, which is also built on an extended version of the Creta/Seltos platform, measures 4,500mm in length, 1,790mm in width, 1,675mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,760mm, indicating a large cabin.
Carens is aimed at family-oriented clients who desire a feature-rich car with a big three-row interior and SUV-like styling. The Carens has the dimensions of an MPV, but it tries hard to look like an SUV, which gives it a rather confusing appearance.
A flat bonnet and an upright nose that is clearly separated into two segments characterise the look from the front. A narrow grille and a split headlight setup are placed together within a contrasting black trim on the upper part. With the primary headlight cluster positioned below, the Carens gets Y-shaped LED daytime running lamp characteristics. An aggressively sculpted front bumper with Kia’s characteristic ‘Tiger Nose’ motif for the air dam contrasts the modest top part.
The Carens shares some similarities with the Seltos in terms of profile, but the latter looks so much more proportionate anyway. The Carens also gets body cladding down the length of the doors and across the wheel arches.The Carens’ rear end has a pair of wraparound LED tail lights joined by a thin LED strip. The rear windscreen has a small rake and a spoiler incorporated into it.
Kia Carens interior
The Carens’ cabin, in typical Kia form, is crammed with features and has a well-designed, ergonomic layout. Thanks to a modest cab-forward design common in MPVs, the dashboard is relatively deep, stretching well towards the front windshield.
In higher variations, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen takes centre stage on the dash (lower variants have an 8.0-inch screen), with the AC vents perfectly incorporated along with the breadth of the cabin. A new touch-based panel with toggle switches for regulating the climatic settings is also included.
A completely digital instrument cluster, an 8-speaker Bose sound system, and a multi-function steering wheel with buttons for music controls, voice commands, similar to the Seltos and Sonet, are all standard on the 2022 Carens. In terms of seating, the Carens will be offered in six- and seven-seater configurations, with captain seats in the second row in the case of the former.
It also includes an electrically driven, one-touch tumble down capability for the second row (first in segment) allowing quick access to the third row. There are also a number of utilitarian features around the cabin, such as the spacious door pockets that can hold up to three water bottles.
The Kia Carens has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Kia’s UVO connect, 64-color ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, seat-back tables with cup holders, and an air purifier as standard amenities. On the safety front, the Carens comes standard with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, hill-start assist, disc brakes on all four wheels, TPMS, and rear parking sensors in all models.
Kia Carens engine and gearbox
The Kia Carens has two petrol engines and a diesel engine option under the hood (the same powertrains as in the Seltos). A 1.5-litre four-cylinder normally aspirated engine with 115hp and 144Nm is available, as well as a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 140hp and 242Nm. The diesel engine, meanwhile, is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit that produces 115hp and 250Nm.
A 6-speed manual, a 6-speed iMT, and a CVT automatic gearbox are available with the petrol engine. In the meanwhile, the diesel engine is available with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The engine-gearbox combinations and specifications are, unsurprisingly, similar to those of the Seltos.
Also read: 2022 Mahindra Scorpio: More details revealed